Restaurateur loses case but keeps reputation

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The Independent Online
In the midst of legal defeat, restaurateur Michael Bloom yesterday claimed his name has been cleared of something unthinkable for a man in his position - deliberately stocking non-kosher meat.

Mr Bloom, pictured, who is now unemployed, ran the eponymous Bloom's Jewish restaurant in the East End of London until a religious court removed his licence, or kashrut, as a kosher food provider. The London Beth Din - court of the chief rabbi - took the action after non-kosher meat was found in the restaurant's fridge two years ago.

An aggrieved Mr Bloom later discovered that the meat had been left in the fridge by a delivery driver, a fact known by the Jewish court's judge, but ignored. Accordingly Mr Bloom sought judicial review in the High Court to overturn the Beth Din's verdict, a challenge which yesterday failed, saddling him with a pounds 70,000 legal bill, his licence still revoked - but satisfied that his public honour had been restored.

After the hearing, Mr Bloom, of Finchley, north London, said : "I am extremely disappointed in the outcome of my application for judicial review, but the judge has recognised I clearly had grounds for a genuine sense of grievance.

Mr Justice Lightman, said he recognised Mr Bloom's grievance, but said the Jewish court had been entitled not to disclose the delivery man's confession.

Mr Bloom, who had wanted a completely new hearing for his case before the Beth Din, can now take up an invitation from the original judge, Dayan Ehrentreu, to hear the delivery man's evidence.

Bloom's, once frequented by Princess Margaret and film stars, closed in February last year after losing pounds 500,000 in four years.